Top 7 Best Coconut Vinegar Substitutes

Best Coconut Vinegar Substitutes

Coconut vinegar may be a new flavor to you, but it’s actually been used in Southeast Asian cuisine for hundreds of years. It’s made from fermented coconut sap, which is similar to how wine and beer are made.

Coconut vinegar has a distinct sweet-and-sour taste that can add an interesting element to many dishes. It contains probiotics and vitamins that nourish without raising blood sugar levels. This substance also promotes fat burning and anti-aging.

Unfortunately, due to its rising popularity, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find authentic, unprocessed coconut vinegar. Instead, most brands are processed and diluted with water or other ingredients, which dilutes their unique flavor profile and makes them less nutritious than unprocessed varieties.

If you want all of the health benefits of real coconut vinegar but don’t want to pay premium prices at high-end grocery stores or specialty shops, here are some great coconut vinegar substitutes.

The Best Coconut Vinegar Substitutes

There are several reasons why you might want to substitute anything different for coconut vinegar. You don’t like the flavor of it, you have a histamine response to it, or you simply cannot find it in the store. Whatever your reason, this list also has many excellent coconut vinegar substitutes.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

The number-one vinegar substitute for coconut vinegar is apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar can be used in similar ways as coconut vinegar. You can also use it to make salad dressings, sauces, or marinades.

It is made from fermented apples, widely available, and, in most cases, extremely affordable. So you can easily replace your next-best coconut vinegar with this organic acid.

Like coconut vinegar, apple cider has many health benefits and is a natural source of dietary fiber that aids digestion and reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes. It’s rich in potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and other minerals that are important for blood pressure regulation. It also contains amino acids that may reduce allergies and act as antioxidants by scavenging free radicals from the body.

It works nicely as a substitute for coconut vinegar in chutneys, hearty stews, marinades, and other recipes. If you don’t mind darkening light-colored fruits and vegetables, you can use it to create pickles. Choose apple cider vinegar with a 5% acidity level for the best results.

2. White vinegar

White Vinegar as Substitute for Coconut Vinegar

White vinegar is an excellent coconut vinegar substitute. It has a similar flavor and texture, and it’s much easier to find than coconut vinegar. You can use white vinegar in cooking, in salad dressings, or as a dipping sauce for chicken fingers.

The difference between white vinegar and coconut vinegar is that the latter has a more distinctive taste, while the former has a more subtle taste. On its own, white vinegar may not be able to make up for the flavor that coconut vinegar offers.

If you choose to substitute coconut vinegar with white vinegar, proceed with caution. Because it is made from ethyl alcohol, white vinegar is quite harsh. It suggests that it’s better to use a little less than coconut vinegar.

3. Malt Vinegar

Malt Vinegar as Substitute for Coconut Vinegar

Malt vinegar has a strong, lemony flavor and is produced from malted barley. It comes in two varieties: brown malt vinegar and distilled malt vinegar, but if you want to use it as a substitute for coconut vinegar in your recipes, go for the distilled type. 

Malt vinegar is made from barley malt, which is boiled with corn syrup, blackstrap molasses, or cane sugar before being combined with white distilled vinegar.

Unlike apple cider vinegar, malt vinegar doesn’t have any noticeable health benefits, but it does provide a bolder taste that pairs well with light-colored fruits and vegetables without altering their color too much.

Malt vinegar is the best coconut vinegar substitute for pickling and preparing chutney. It also goes well with fish and chips as a condiment.

4. Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic Vinegar as Substitute for Coconut Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar, which has a sweet, fruity taste and a low acidity, is particularly popular in Italy. The cheaper variety, which is available in most supermarkets, is usually watered down with wine vinegar and artificially colored. However, it is a suitable substitute for coconut vinegar.

While balsamic vinegar is made from grapes, it doesn’t have any of that lovely tanginess you get with coconut vinegar. It does, however, add a slightly sweet note to recipes that you might enjoy. If you do want to use it as a replacement, use half of whatever amount your recipe calls for—you don’t want your food to taste like balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing!

It works well with risotto and grilled meat. You can also use it as a salad dressing. Because it is less powerful than coconut vinegar, you can add a little extra.

5. Rice Vinegar

Rice Vinegar as Substitute for Coconut Vinegar

Rice vinegar is a sweet, mellow, and less acidic vinegar from Asia. It is also known as rice wine vinegar, despite the fact that it is derived from rice rather than rice wine.

Rice vinegar has a lighter taste than coconut vinegar—for example, you’ll notice it’s missing that kick of tartness you may have come to expect from coconut vinegar. Use it as a substitute in recipes that don’t require much acidity, such as salad dressing or marinades.

White rice vinegar, red rice vinegar, and black rice vinegar are all available at supermarkets. The white one is the best option. In sweet and sour meals, stir-fries, and dipping sauces, use the same quantity of white rice vinegar as coconut vinegar.

Rice vinegar also goes well with most fruits, vegetables, and fish dishes, but it should not be used as an all-purpose substitute for any other vinegar types because it does not combine well with them.

6. Lemon Juice

Lemon Juice as Substitute for Coconut Vinegar

The simplest way to substitute coconut vinegar is with another type of vinegar. But what if you don’t like the taste of vinegar or your body reacts badly to fermented foods? In this situation, lemon juice is the best coconut vinegar substitute for you.

Lemon juice is less sweet and milder than its vinegar counterpart, making it best suited to pickling vegetables or as a finishing agent. It also pairs well with tropical flavors like mango and pineapple, so it’s a good option if you’re planning on creating a piña colada-flavored meal.

It is mostly used for baking. If you use baking soda, you must combine it with something acidic for it to work. Most coconut vinegar recipes call for vinegar, but lemon juice can be used instead. 

While lemon juice won’t have as many of those probiotic properties, it still has high acidity levels that are great at reducing pH levels when used as a substitute in recipes calling for coconut vinegar. And because it is lighter than vinegar, you must use more of it to get the same results. If you require 1/4 cup of coconut vinegar, use 1/3 cup of lemon juice.

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7. Tamarind Paste

Tamarind Paste as Substitute for Coconut Vinegar

Tamarind paste will add a unique flavor to your recipes. It is made from a sour, dark, and sticky fruit that grows in pods on the tamarind tree.

Though tamarind paste is commonly used as a sweetener, in many ways it acts as a substitute for coconut vinegar. Tamarind paste has almost the same taste and texture as coconut vinegar but is thicker. Use tamarind paste when you need an Asian-style vinegar.

It can be added to cooked meals, but it is best used in sauces. But tamarind paste has a different taste, so if you want your meal to taste just like it would with coconut vinegar, you might want to try something else.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are white vinegar and coconut vinegar the same?

White vinegar and coconut vinegar may sound similar, but they’re not really interchangeable. Coconut vinegar is a natural liquid that comes from pressing young coconuts. White vinegar, on the other hand, is fermented from different grains (usually rice or barley), and it’s highly processed and more acidic.

Think of them like oil and water—while they might be found in similar places, it would be hard to use one as a replacement for another in most cases. However, they are interchangeable in several recipes.

How to Make Fermented Coconut Vinegar at Home?

Coconut vinegar is a popular food additive that you can purchase in grocery stores. However, if you’re looking to make your own coconut vinegar at home, it’s pretty easy.

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